Words come and go. Some words that are no longer used have an appealing sound or image to me and I think it's a pity they are no longer in use. Others have a similarity to words in current use. Language is fascinating. Here are ten words that are no longer used, as far as I know.
crinkum - crankum This is an elaborate decoration or detail. It's a descriptive term and rather fun, isn't it?
doit It's a very small amount of money.
gadzooks I have heard this expression of surprise or annoyance once or twice. I think it is rather expressive and I would like to use it on a regular basis.
grimalkin These animals are plentiful but in modern times are usually called cats. I thought it was a cute name until I found it can also mean a spiteful old woman. Was there a different term used for a spiteful young woman when this word was in usage? What about a spiteful old or young man, did they have names too?
love apple Today we call it a tomato.
Bowl of home grown love apples Image by Marie Vonow
mayhap It means perhaps, possibly. I would find this a useful word to use in writing as an alternative to its synonyms. Could we please bring it back? All it would take is for lots of people to start using it again.
mooncalf Don't act like a mooncalf if you want to be taken seriously. Yes, a mooncalf is a foolish person.
otiose It means lazy, slothful, of no use.
zooterkins This was a term of indignation, with a meaning similar to 'blimey!'. It could be a useful word in Scrabble, a game I haven't played in years. Is there a rule you can only use words in current usage?
zounderkite That zounderkite changed lanes without looking. A zounderkite is another word for idiot and more polite than some terms I have heard shouted out.
Language continues to change. I wonder what new words will emerge in the course of the next century.